Thousands of Rare Philippine Trees Get Sanctuary in This Posh Neighborhood

Over 4,000 native trees and 86 bird species find refuge in this neighborhood. 

Starved for a taste of greenery and nature this pandemic? Residents in Ayala Westgrove Heights can’t say the same. Nestled in Silang, near the eco-city of Nuvali, is this safe haven protected by self-professed nature lovers. The private residential estate, now with over 4,000 native trees covering over 200 species, is campaigning to become a National Tree and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Ayala Westgrove Heights

Photo by Ayala Westgrove Heights.

Residents and visitors can find local species of narra, acacia, pamitoyen, lumbang, an other flowering and ornamental trees across the sprawling estate. But apart from this, the subdivision is also home to 86 bird species, 80 species of butterflies, 52 species of moths, 37 mushroom species, and a handful of other insects and reptiles, according to Rewilding Philippines

Mango Trees in Ayala Westgrove Heights

Photo by Ayala Westgrove Heights.

This is all thanks to the efforts of the Environment Committee of Westgrove Heights, who have turned the 400-hectare luxury residence into something of an environmental frontier.

Leni Sutcliffe, the chairperson of the Environment Committee of Westgrove Heights, is spearheading the conservation efforts of the neighborhood. With the help of other residents, the committee promotes indigenous wildlife by planting more native trees, conducting educational walks, and publishing records on how to conserve and care for Westgrove’s non-human residents.

Lagoon at Ayala Westgrove Heights

Photo by Ayala Westgrove Heights.

Native trees are recorded in the Homeowner’s Association’s self-published book, “A Guide to Westgrove’s Native Trees,” which was co-authored by Sutcliffe and Ronald Achacoso. To date, two volumes have already been published and are available to the public.

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To further spread awareness on wildlife conservation, seedlings of native trees species are also shared among members of the Philippine Native Trees Enthusiast Facebook group.

With the efforts of native biodiversity enthusiasts, we’re all one step closer to conserving our environmental heritage.

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